Mazlum Dogan

Mazlum Dogan believed that the Turkish state is dealing with Kurds as if they are criminals (a nation of criminals and outlaws). By sacrificing his own life, he died believing that the light and the spirit of Newroz shall be born again for the freedom of Kurds and Kurdistan. That was his final message to his friends, and that’s why many Kurds believe that he is the second Kawae Asingar (the second Blacksmith).

Mazlum Doğan (born on 1955 in Karakoçan/Elâzığ Province; died on 21 March 1982 in Diyarbakır) was a member of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

After he had finished high school in Balıkesir in 1974 he enrolled at Hacettepe University in Ankara. In 1976 he joined the Kurdish student movement, which has been, in parts, the precursor of the PKK. He has been the first chief editor of the parties’ newspaper Serxwebûn. In 1979 he was arrested after accusations of founding and leading a terrorist organisation. On March 21st, 1982, the day Kurds celebrate Newroz by lighting up bonfires, Doğan set his own cell at the Diyarbakır Prison on fire and hanged himself in order to protest against the Turkish Government. With this act he tried to awake awareness on the inhumane conditions at Diyarbakır Prison and other jails in Turkey during the 1980 Turkish coup d’état. His suicide was the start of a number of hunger strikes and resistance campaigns run by prisoners of conscience.

Today, Mazlum Doğan is honored in the form of many commemoration days by the Kurdish Movement. The PKK has named its elite school after him and there are several Kurdish youth festivals around Europe sharing his name.

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